Description - This 57-mile greenway follows an abandoned railroad right-of-way. It is Virginia's premier mountain bike and equestrian trail and was selected as a National Millennium Trail, one of 50 in the United States. Shot Tower Historical State Park is just feet away from the trail and makes an interesting resting spot.
Copyright: Patty Elton - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Scenery abounds the entire distance of New River Trail
- New River Trail parallels 39 miles along the banks of the New River. The 57 continuous miles of parkland travels through two tunnels of practically 200 feet in length, onto three major bridges of heights from 670 feet to 1,089 feet and across 30 smaller bridges and trestles.
The small 254-acre Shot Tower Historical Park and the nearby Foster Falls recreation area make enjoyable rest stops. History buffs will enjoy the Foster Falls historical area where new interpretive signage afford a self-guided tour. Amphitheater, gift shop, restrooms, concession, and terrific scenery make this a pleasant respite.
The New River Trail is popular with a variety of users including hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. Horse trailers may be parked at the Shot Tower parking lot and Foster Falls parking area. Under agreement with the U.S. Forest Service, New River Trail now connects with the Virginia Creeper Trail and over 100 miles of pristine mountain trails. New River Trail currently offers three primitive campgrounds: Cliffview, Millrace and New River.
Horse trailer parking is available at Cliffview, Fries, Draper, Foster Falls and Pulaski.
Recreation - Mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding are the most popular attractions to the New River Trail. Camping is also available in the three primitive campgrounds. This park is in close proximity to Mt. Rogers National Recreational Area, two Department of Game and Inland Fisheries' boat launches and the Shot Tower Historical State Park, which is just feet from the New River Trail State Park.
As of 2000, Virginia's New River Trail Challenge became an annual event. Thirty miles of biking, 13 miles of running and 12 miles of canoe paddling define this unique triathlon experience present by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Virginia Tourism Corporation. Held in mid-September, The New River Trail Challenge is produced with special assistance from the counties of Grayson, Carroll, Wythe and Pulaski, the cities of Galax and Pulaski, and the town of Fries. The course is designed so that participants experience the beauty of the New River Trail and the New River that graces the trail throughout all stages of the race. The biking and running stages are flat, and the canoe stage is a mix of Class I and II rapids with a small portion of flat-water paddling. Register by phone: 1-800-933-PARK, in Richmond: 225-3867.
Approximate Trail Distances From Pulaski, VA to the Designated Mileposts on Trail
Pulaski / Xaloy, 2.0 miles
Peak Creek Trestle, 2.5 miles
Interstate 81 Overpass, 3.6 miles
McAdam Bench, 4.8 miles
Draper at SR 658, 6.2 miles
Sloan Creek Trestle, 6.5 miles
Bridge #1505, 7.7 miles
Bridge #1506 at Lake, 8.0 miles
Delton Trestle, 9.0 miles
Hiwassee River Bridge, 10.2 miles
Allisonia at SR 693, 12.6 miles
Big Reed Trestle, 13.2 miles
Lone Ash at SR 622, 19.0 miles
Bertha, 20.3 miles
Foster Falls at SR 623, 24.0 miles
Shot Tower, 25.2 miles
Austinville at SR 69, 28.8 miles
Ivanhoe River Bridge, 30.3 miles
Ivanhoe Depot at SR 639, 31.6 miles
Jubilee Park, 32.6 miles
Buck Dam at SR 737, 34.7 miles
Byllesby Dam at SR 602, 37.3 miles
Brush Creek, 39.2 miles
Fries Junction, 39.8 miles
SR 721, 43.3 miles
Fries, 45.3 miles
Tunnel, 40.3 miles
Gambetta at SR 793, 42.3 miles
Chestnut Yard at SR 607, 45.5 miles
Chestnut Creek Falls, 46.3 miles
Cliffview at SR 721, 49.5 miles
Brown Bridge, 51.2 miles
Galax Parking Lot at US 58, 51.7 miles
Climate - Virginia generally has mild winters and warm humid summers. The mountainous Blue Ridge area has cold winter months with temperatures ranging from 36 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) and dropping below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 Celsius). The state's summer temperatures have little variation. The summer mountainous Blue Ridge temperatures range from below 74 degrees Fahrenheit (23 Celsius) to 78 degrees Fahrenheit (26 Celsius).
This 57-mile trail may be accessed at various locations in Grayson, Pulaski, Carroll and Wythe counties which are located in southwestern Virginia. Call the park office for details. The Shot Tower Historical Park and Foster Falls park office and recreation area may be accessed from I-77, taking Exit 24 heading north on Rt. 52 for 2 miles.